Acrylic nails are popular around the world because it’s a quick way to make your nails look longer then they are and make them sturdier than usual. It also opens up the world of way more intricate designs you can do. Acrylic nails also last longer, keeping the nail polish looking good for weeks at a time. The only issue with them is that it’s not as easy to take them off as just a regular coat of nail polish. In most cases, you’d go to the nail salon and have the nail technician remove them. However, we’ve all been in a situation where you just don’t have the opportunity to go to the nail salon but you also can no longer deal with your grown out acrylics.
There are a few methods of removing acrylic nails at home and it all depends on the materials you have available to you and the amount of time you’re willing to invest in this process. Removing acrylic nails at home should be done with utmost care. You definitely should just try to peel them off or rip them off. That can severely damage your nail bed and in some cases just rip out the actual nail along with the acrylic too. No one wants that, right? So here’s how you do it without causing damage.
Acetone and Foil
This is the safest and most efficient way to remove acrylic nails at home. You will essentially be doing the same thing most nail technicians do at the salon. At first, you need to decide if you want to keep the length of your nails or if you want to keep them short. If it’s the latter — clip them off as short as possible. Take a nail file and file off the shiny topcoat layer of your nail, this will speed up the process of dissolving the acrylic. Then take some cotton balls, soak them in acetone and put them on your nail. Try to keep the acetone off the cuticle or surrounding skin, use a piece of aluminum foil to wrap around your finger to keep the acetone-soaked cotton ball in place.
Repeat with all of your nails and keep that on for about 15 minutes. Afterwards, take one foil off and see if the acrylic nail is ready to be removed, it should peel off from your nail relatively easily. You can use an orange stick to help peel it off. If It’s not coming off easily reapply the acetone and wait a little longer. Once you’ve peeled off the acrylics shape your nails with a nail file and buff the top with a buffing nail file. Apply cuticle oil and a nice moisturizer and you’re done.
If you find yourself out of cotton balls and aluminum foil you can still use the acetone to remove your acrylic nail. Just pour the acetone into a small bowl, enough to submerge your nails. File down the top layer of the nails. Use some petroleum jelly to coat the skin on your fingers that will be submerged too. This will protect the skin from the harsh chemicals in acetone. Now submerge your nails in acetone and wait for about 20 minutes. It might take longer. From this point on just repeat the steps we used in the first method.
Nail Polish Remover
If you don’t have acetone on hand, an acetone-free nail polish remover is a good alternative. You can use it the same way either by applying onto your nails and securing with tin foil wraps or use the soaking method. Again, remember to file down the shiny topcoat to speed up the process and let the nail polish penetrate the acrylics easier. The only thing is since it doesn’t contain acetone it will probably take longer to remove the acrylic nails. But take the time and don’t rush the process or you can end up damaging or completely ruining your nails.
Nail File Method
If you have no acetone or nail polish remover at home, but you do have a few kinds of nail files — this might work. The idea is to use the nail file to file off the acrylic nails completely. This will definitely take a long time but if you don’t have other options this will have to do. When doing this make sure to be careful and only file off the acrylic, not the actual nail bed. It’s better to do this slowly and carefully so that you don’t get carried away with quick filing movements and damage your nail accidentally. In the end, it’s best to scrape off the glue that’s in between your nail and the acrylic with an orange stick, buff your nails down and definitely moisturize.
Warm Water Soak
This is the method that might work if you’re truly desperate. If your nails are all grown out and they’re starting to peel a little at the top — you can try and soak the acrylics off with warm water. With this method, you have to cut them short. Then pour a bowl of warm water and submerge your nails. You’re basically hoping that water will get in between your nails and the acrylics, loosen the glue and you’ll be able to peel them off easily. But again, you should only try doing this if you’ve got no other options and be super careful, a little at a time.